Now, one could argue the lopsided victory was hollow, seeing as the Jets are among the worst teams in the NFL. The Patriots were heavy favorites and therefore were expected to win.
“Here were the two statements Bill was trying to make: Number one, he was telling the league, ‘This is a have, have-nots league. Do not bunch us in with the Jets. Do not bunch us in with the Dolphins. Do not bunch us in with the crappy teams in this league. We almost beat Dallas. We can play with (Tampa Bay). We are this close to being something,’ ” Cowherd said. “And why does that matter? Potential free agents next year. ‘Coaches do not lump us into the have-nots.’ So any chance they get to pour it on, they will.
“The second thing is I think Belichick is selling his team on this. He’s got a very, very young team, and he wants these guys to know, ‘No, you can blow out people.’ And when he gets a chance this year to pour it on, Bill’s gonna pour it on.”
The Patriots racked up plenty of blowout wins during the height of their dynasty, some of which came against the lowly Jets. So, it’s not like Belichick was navigating uncharted waters in Week 7.
But those occurred with Tom Brady under center. This Patriots team still is searching for an identity, and Cowherd believes performances like Sunday’s could go a long way toward cementing New England as a legitimate AFC contender, perhaps sooner rather than later.
“You can see them incrementally getting better,” Cowherd said. “And Belichick, when he has a chance to step on the throat, is going to do it. ‘Guys, we’re legit. Get confidence. We’re real, real close.’ “
The Patriots will travel to the West Coast in Week 8 for a date with the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
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